popular opinion The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made  

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List Rules Vote up any movie that required a rewatch or someone else to explain it to you

The most confusing movies ever made are those films which either intentionally or accidentally are hard to follow, complicated and so far out there that they are disorienting to even the most seasoned viewer. That's not to say these movies are bad because of their complicated nature but certainly not for the easily confused.

For those who crave the mental challenge of confusing movies, there are several directors whose style is highlighted by their complicated plot lines, tendency to present films out of chronological order and seemingly devotion to chaos in their movies. The likes of David Lynch (Mulholland DriveEraserheadInland Empire, and Lost Highway), Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space OdysseyThe Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut) and Christopher Nolan (Inception and Memento) are perhaps the best at making stellar yet highly confusing movies and among the greatest directors in movie history.

Lynch, Kubrick and Nolan undoubtably influenced other great filmmakers who also have a tendency to create movies that make viewers ask what the heck is happening. Charlie Kaufman, who did Synecdoche, New YorkAdaptationEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Being John Malkovich, and Steven Soderbergh, responsible for great films like Sex, Lies, and Videotape, among many others, gave their interpretation of how to create confusing and simply WTF movies.

So whether you love the twists and turns in The Matrix or think the utter madness of Primer is cause to be among the worst movies of all time, vote for the movies you think are the most confusing below! Have a confusing movie in mind that's not listed? Add it! Help us rank the most confusing movies ever made.

list ordered by

1
+ - 1,167 519
Memento is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Memento Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

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2
+ - 1,400 675
Inception is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

3
+ - 1,197 337
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Donnie Darko Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

4
+ - 762 274
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Mulholland Drive Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

5
+ - 809 318
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

6
+ - 362 302
The Tree of Life is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Tree of Life Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain

7
+ - 568 358
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
12 Monkeys Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer

8
+ - 558 371
Vanilla Sky is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Vanilla Sky Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz

9
+ - 483 315
Eyes Wide Shut is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Eyes Wide Shut Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Stanley Kubrick

10
+ - 602 392
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

11
+ - 825 550
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Fight Club Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter

12
+ - 421 278
Being John Malkovich is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Being John Malkovich Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen

13
+ - 666 613
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

14
+ - 336 229
The Fountain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Fountain Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn

15
+ - 233 195
Antichrist is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Antichrist Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

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16
+ - 506 453
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

17
+ - 320 189
Pi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Pi Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell

18
+ - 680 345
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Shutter Island Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

19
+ - 251 259
The Mothman Prophecies is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Mothman Prophecies Richard Gere, Debra Messing, Laura Linney

20
+ - 289 183
Jacob's Ladder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Jacob's Ladder Macaulay Culkin, Tim Robbins, Jason Alexander

21
+ - 405 152
Primer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Primer Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Keith Bradshaw

22
+ - 479 313
Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Black Swan Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

23
+ - 362 174
Eraserhead is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Eraserhead Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk

24
+ - 378 352
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

25
+ - 483 252
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey

26
+ - 286 166
Lost Highway is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Lost Highway Richard Pryor, Gary Busey, Patricia Arquette

27
+ - 110 187
Stay is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Stay Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Ewan McGregor

28
+ - 457 484
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Sixth Sense Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

29
+ - 183 132
Blue Velvet is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Blue Velvet Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

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30
+ - 240 164
Brazil is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Brazil Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm

31
+ - 277 264
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

32
+ - 298 173
Cloud Atlas is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Cloud Atlas Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon

33
+ - 206 210
Identity is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Identity Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Alfred Molina

34
+ - 291 321
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

35
+ - 245 220
The Matrix Revolutions is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Matrix Revolutions Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Jada Pinkett Smith

36
+ - 108 54
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me David Bowie, Heather Graham, Kiefer Sutherland

37
+ - 395 417
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Pulp Fiction John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman

38
+ - 254 208
The Number 23 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Number 23 Jim Carrey, Rhona Mitra, Logan Lerman

39
+ - 142 106
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Machinist Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

40
+ - 103 146
Existenz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Existenz Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Jason Leigh

41
+ - 232 278
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Life of Pi Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

42
+ - 183 140
Naked Lunch is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Naked Lunch Ian Holm, Roy Scheider, Julian Sands

43
+ - 136 59
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Interstellar Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon

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44
+ - 175 178
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Trainspotting Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller

45
+ - 127 133
Videodrome is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Videodrome Debbie Harry, James Woods, David Cronenberg

46
+ - 156 172
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Dark City Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

47
+ - 170 117
The Prestige is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Prestige Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

48
+ - 85 126
The End of Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The End of Evangelion Megumi Hayashibara, Junko Iwao, Koyasu Taketo

49
+ - 91 105
Synecdoche, New York is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Synecdoche, New York Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Philip Seymour Hoffman

50
+ - 96 114
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Solaris Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet